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In This Issue:

A Pain in the Head
Pelvic Tilt - How to Recognize and Help the Imbalance

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January 2016

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A Pain in the Head

Dr. Shima Shahidy, (Hon) B.Sc., DC
Doctor of Chiropractic
Acupuncture & Graston Technique Provider

dr shima shahidyIf you suffer from headaches, you may have already tried many types of treatment to give you relief. 59% of Canadian adults report suffering from some form of headache1. Most often it is an unpleasant nuisance which can prevent you from being productive and enjoying life. The pressure and pain associated with headaches can be relieved by short term use of some medication, rest, manual therapies, relaxation and drinking water. In some cases, however, the pain can be unbearable and debilitating, lasting for hours or days. These types of headaches could be migraines.

It is important to get a proper diagnosis for a headache because, like many other symptoms and conditions, some are more serious than others and can point to a systemic problem. Also, research has helped us narrow down which treatments are more appropriate for different types of headaches, and a qualified practitioner, like a chiropractor, can help you find an answer and potential relief much more efficiently. The following are three different types of headaches for you to consider. Do any sound familiar to you?

Tension Headaches:

  • Most common type
  • Dull, diffuse, achy pain like a band around the head
  • headacheOften triggered by stress
  • Often relieved by applying a hot or cold pack, managing stress and improving posture
  • Chiropractic care can relieve symptoms and prevent recurrence

Migraine Headaches2:

  • A variety of symptoms and presentations
  • Disturbed vision, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and an aura before the headache
  • Unknown cause
  • Possible triggers are stress, sleep deprivation, food and environmental factors (barometric pressure)
  • Can last hours or days
  • Relieved by rest in dark room

Cervicogenic Headache:

  • A secondary headache caused by pain referred from structures in the neck
  • Manual therapy and exercises aimed at posture can help

Some headache triggers that you can pay attention to and try to avoid include stress, alcohol, sleep deprivation, dehydration, skipping meals and loud environments. There are several different evidence based treatments for different types of headaches. For migraines, spinal manipulation is recommended 1-2 times a week for eight weeks. Weekly massage therapy can also reduce the frequency of migraines. Other recommendations include exercise, relaxation, stress and nutritional counseling. For cervicogenic headaches, spinal manipulation is recommended based on a study that used treatments two times a week for three weeks. Joint mobilization and deep neck flexor exercises are also recommended3.

If you suffer from headaches and are looking for help, please come in and talk to us and we will work with your healthcare team to help you find answers and relief!

 

1. www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/publications/tp13312-2-neurology-headaches-2159.htm
2. www.migrainetrust.org/factsheet-migraine-what-is-it-10504
3. www.chiropractic.ca/guidelines-best-practice/practitioners/guidelines/headache/headache-disorders/?section=Key%20Recommendations#level_3

 

Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information and to book your appointment.

For pricing information please click here.

 


 

Pelvic Tilt - How to Recognize and Help the Imbalance

Kristine Haemel, RMT
Registered Massage Therapist

Kristine Haemel RMTThere are three types of pelvic tilt: anterior, posterior and lateral. The anterior pelvic tilt is the most common type, and the effects can be painful. There are ways to help correct the imbalance, but first let’s start with what is really going on in the body when this dysfunction is present.

An anterior pelvic tilt occurs when the pelvis rotates anteriorly (forward) in the sagittal pane (divides the body into left and right). The sacrum (base of the spine) is tightly wedged between the two hip bones, so when the pelvis tilts anteriorly, the sacrum moves with it. When the sacrum tips forward, the lower lumbar vertebra tilts forward too and creates an increase in the lumbar lordosis (excessive inward curvature of the spine). Due to the excessive lordosis, many individuals with the postural distortion are told they have weak abdominal muscles and need to strengthen them. However, if there is a dysfunction of the hip flexors and the low back extensors are not addressed, strengthening exercises of abdominals will have little benefit.

Causes for this Dysfunction

anterior pelvic tiltOften there is a combined action of muscles on opposite sides of the body that act together. Tightness in the back extensors (iliopsoas, multifidus and quadratus lumborum muscles) produces the anterior tilt. Prolonged sitting is another contributing factor as it causes the hip flexors to shorten. Most hip flexors connect the femur (thigh bone) either to the hip or to the lower back. When you stand up with shortened hip flexors, they not only pull on the femur from the hip, but also from the lower back (lumbar spine). This will cause the hip to tilt forward and the lumbar curvature to increase (excessive lordosis).

Effects of Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Increased lordosis causes greater compressive loads on the posterior vertebral arch structures, which could lead to lower back pain, knee pain, overemphasized kyphosis (hunching of the back), facet joint irritation, stress fractures in the vertebra, increased disc pressure and early disc degeneration.   

How We Can Help Fix the Imbalance

Massage Therapy (including self massage) is always a great way to loosen up your hip flexors and help fix the imbalance. Massage treatment should be accompanied with hip flexor exercises in order to increase effectiveness. Below are two simple examples you can do at home.

pelvic tilt stretch

Standing Wall Exercise

  • Stand with your back flat against the wall with your heels placed about 6 inches away
  • While keeping your knees straight, and your shoulders and hips against the wall, press your lower back in towards the wall
  • Hold the position for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat 10 times
pelvic tilt stretch

Kneeling Exercise

  • Start in a half kneeling position with the left leg in front and the right leg behind
  • Rock forward keeping your back straight until a stretch is felt in the front of the right hip
  • Hold this stretch position for 1 minute, then switch legs and perform the stretch on the other side
  • Repeat twice on each side

 

Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information and to book your appointment.

For pricing information please click here.

 


 

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